The first order of 20 locomotives (road numbers 800 through 819) was delivered in 1937. These were designated Class FEF-1 and were designed by UP's Motive Power Group to have 77" drivers, 24.5 x 32 cylinders, a boiler pressure of 300 psi, and a weight of 465,000 lbs resulting in a tractive effort of 63,611 pounds (63,800 nominal).
The second order of 15 locomotives (road numbers 820 through 834) was delivered in 1939. These locomotives were designated as Class FEF-2. They were designed to have 80" drivers, 25 x 32 cylinders, a boiler pressure of 300 psi, and a weight of 483,000 lbs giving each a tractive effort of 63,750 pounds (63,800 nominal).
The last group of 10, Class FEF-3 were delivered in 1944 and were assigned road numbers 835 through 844. These FEFs (Four-Eight-Four) were designated Class FEF-3 and were very similar to the Class FEF-2's.
Comparing operating costs per mile in 1946:
|NYC Niagara||U.P. #800-844|
The UP 800 Four-Eight-Fours saved UP $300,000/year in costs. The purchase price for these engines was $150,000 in 1944 dollars. The 800s ran about 14,000 miles per month. Today these engines would cost around $10-11 per mile. The 800s cast-steel locomotive frame which replaced many separate parts by one single casting helped maintenance. Information provided by Dan McNaughton.
There are four surviving UP 4-8-4s: number 814 in Council Bluffs, IA; number 833 which was recently moved from Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City, UT to the Ogden Union Station Museum in Ogden, UT; number 838 at UP engine house in Cheyenne, WY and number 844, which is operational, also at UP engine house in Cheyenne, WY.
|Class||Road Numbers||Year Built||Builder|
These engines were worked hard in service and responded exceptionally well. They were fitted with unusual tapered main and side rods, which reduced the mass of steel out at the end of the rotary motions. In addition, each wheel crank pin had its own sleeve bearing, which reduced the strain on the main crank pins on each side. These engines were reported as frequently running at above 100 mph.
They arrived in 3 batches, two (FEF-1 & FEF-3) which had Type A superheaters. These are shown in this entry (FEF-1) and Locobase 8340 (FEF-3). This first set had the smaller drivers 77") and a boiler pressed originally to 260 psi. Leading and trailing truck roller bearings were supplied by SKF while Timken produced those for the driving axles.
FEF-2s had the Type E superheater, which resulted in a very different boiler layout; see Locobase 284.
After diesels bumped the big oil-burners from passenger service, they turned their 80" drivers to freight work. The first was retired in 1954, the last in 1961.
As outlined in Locobase 8339, these 4-8-4s were the premier passenger power on the Union Pacific. When the UP returned to the Alco for more of these enormous locomotives, the builder supplied these 15 with a Type E superheater installation with much more superheater area. The engines arrived with 80" drivers, 300-psi boilers, and roller bearings on all axles. (820-829 had Timken bearings, 830-834 were fitted with SKFs.)
The railroad bought 10 more FEFs in 1944; see Locobase 8340. As the railroad dieselized in the 1950s, the FEF-2s gradually left service. The first was retired in 1956, the last in 1962.
When World War II traffic levels over-stressed the existing UP passenger-locomotive stud, the railroad returned to Alco for 10 more of the FEF design. They might have preferred to buy diesel sets, but those were not available. Instead, Alco produced engines with the power dimensions and driver diameters of the FEF-2 (Locobase 284) under a boiler virtually identical to that of the FEF-1 (Locobase 8339). And like the FEF-1, SKF supplied the leading and trailing truck roller bearings while Timken produced those for the driving axles.
Although delivered with 69.5 sq ft of arch tubes, these were removed in 1945.
The last of the class - 844 - never actually left service. Its 1957-1959 stint of freight work was its last revenue work, but it was reserved for excursion work in 1960. Renumbered for a time as 8444, the locomotive regained its original number in 1969 after the diesel that bore 844 was retired. It was reassigned to excursion work and ran into the 21st Century.
The other 9 were all retired in 1957-1962.
|Specifications by Steve Llanso|
|Railroad||Union Pacific (UP)||Union Pacific (UP)||Union Pacific (UP)|
|Locomotive Length and Weight|
|Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheebase||0.44||0.43||0.43|
|Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender)||97.50'||98.42'||98.42'|
|Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle)|
|Weight on Drivers||265840 lbs||265200 lbs||266490 lbs|
|Engine Weight||460640 lbs||478640 lbs||486340 lbs|
|Tender Light Weight||384350 lbs||416320 lbs||421550 lbs|
|Total Engine and Tender Weight||844990 lbs||894960 lbs||907890 lbs|
|Tender Water Capacity||19764 gals||23500 gals||23500 gals|
|Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal)||6550 gals||6000 gals||6000 gals|
|Minimum weight of rail (calculated) on which locomotive could run||111 lb/yard||111 lb/yard||111 lb/yard|
|Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort|
|Boiler Pressure||300 psi||300 psi||300 psi|
|Cylinders (dia x stroke)||24.5" x 32"||25" x 32"||25" x 32"|
|Tractive Effort||63611 lbs||63750 lbs||63750 lbs|
|Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort)||4.18||4.16||4.18|
|Firebox Area||422 sq. ft||442 sq. ft||442 sq. ft|
|Grate Area||100.20 sq. ft|
|Evaporative Heating Surface||4540 sq. ft||4413 sq. ft||4225 sq. ft|
|Superheating Surface||1473 sq. ft||1900 sq. ft||1400 sq. ft|
|Combined Heating Surface||6013 sq. ft||6313 sq. ft||5625 sq. ft|
|Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume||260.01||242.73||232.39|
|Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)|
|Robert LeMassena's Power Computation||0||0||30060|
|Same as above plus superheater percentage||0||0||37575|
|Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area||156984||172380||165750|